DkIT Awards honorary fellowships

For the first time in our 40 Years history Dundalk Institute of Technology has awarded Distinguished Fellowships to four people who have contributed significantly to our community here in County Louth and on the international stage. Speaking about the awards, Denis Cummins said "When deciding on who should recieve outr first ever Distinguished Fellowships, we looked at the contribution so many people have made not only to this region, but to the country and beyond."

The fellowships were awarded to writer and publisher Niall O'Dowd, Joey Maher, Senator Fergal Quinn, and Carmel Naughton.

Writer and Publisher Niall O'Dowd received his fellowship in recognition of the central role he played in making the voice of he Irish dispora heard on both sides of the Atlantic and in support of the northern peace process.

The Drogheda man is founder of Irish Central as well as Irish America Magazine and the Irish Voice newspaper.

Joey Maher's fellowship is in recognition of his tremendous sporting success which spans three decades. He became the first Irish man to win the world handball crown when he took the title in Toronto.

His success continued until the 1980s, when he won major handball and softball titles and a life-size sculpture stands in Drogheda recognising his amazing achievements.

Senator Fergal Quinn is the founder of Superquinn and opened his first store in Dundalk. He made many significant contributions to Irish life, most prominently as chair of An Post for ten years. He also chaired the steering committee that introduced the Leaving Cert Applied, as well as being chairman of Ireland's national St. Patricks festival.

Carmel Naughton was awarded a DKIT fellowship in recogntion of her work as founding member of the National Parents Council, primary branch, and representing that body on the Curriculum Review board.

She also served on the Board of Governors at the National Gallery of Ireland for 12 years, and has made significant contributions to the Dublin Theatre festival and the Irish Heritage Trust. She is also President of Feis Coil.

The honorary fellowships were awarded during the graduation weekend at DKIT.